LiteracyLink NavigationBeginTeachLearnOnline LessonsBeginTeachLearn Online Lessons

Welcome, LiteracyLink guest!
Register for free now. Registered users, log in.

LiteracyLink Questions?HelpAboutSitemapLoginExit
LiteracyLink Forum

Questions & Answers Forum

Murray Meszaros"There are at least two different factors that influence how people do in formal education," Meszaros said. "There is the intellectual quotient and the emotional quotient. When comparing regular high school graduates to many adult education students, I’ve found that IQ equals IQ, but EQ does not equal EQ."

Murray Meszaros has been with the Utah State Office of Education for more than 18 years and has served as Utah’s state administrator of GED Testing for 12 years. He prizes his state office and other states’ counterparts as some of his greatest mentors and friends. In 2007 he was honored with the Distinguished Service Award from the GED Testing Service.

Name: Chasity Ingram
Address: Louisiana
Question: Hello, my name is Chasity Ingram and I am a first time user for this web site and am not quite sure how to go about getting the information that I need. I am currently trying to go bask to school and need a little bit of help. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.
Answer: With pleasure, I will share some thoughts with you. I am sitting here writing the first things that come into my mind so this is not a lot of edited or sophisticated thinking. I hope you are okay with that. I am sure that you would get much the same answers - and maybe even other or better answers - from other professionals in adult education.

The direct answer, if my assumption about your question is correct, is for you to ask a bunch of people in education the same question and see what SIMILAR answers pop up over and over. Since I am not in your location and I am not aware of what exists in your community, I would recommend that you call your local high school or school district to see what they have to say. I am sure that they will have answers that make sense to you and could assist you to move forward with your goals. So, start locally.

If you are looking at the topic from a deeper level, here are a few thoughts.

Choose what type of attitude you have about yourself and your future
Probably the most important thing that I can share with you is "choose what type of attitude you have about yourself and your future."

We were all born to succeed. As someone once said, "God doesn’t make any junk."

Much of the stuff that is on television, in papers, and maybe even coming from your friends and family might suggest that you were not born to succeed. Lots also say that you are either a victim and cannot get out of your circumstances OR that you are entitled to things without working hard for them. Truly, you can become nearly anything you want to be if you CHOOSE to dig in and work for it.

It is interesting that today I received a letter from a lady who was 17 when she got married. As life sometimes goes, she soon had a child and also became divorced shortly thereafter. Her quest a number of years ago was "where do I start to move my life forward?"

Poverty and a "sad-sack life" could have been her future, but she chose to dig in and get a solid grip on her life. She CHOSE not to let others tell her what she could or could not achieve. Instead, she dug deep, prayed like everything depended on God and worked like everything depended on her.

This type of choosing is not easy, but the alternative to choosing this pathway is certainly poverty and a sad-sack life. So, she recognized that for her situation to improve, she needed a lot more education that her current 11th-grade education would allow. Though she did not realize it at the time, if there were 100 jobs available, she could only be hired for 15 of those jobs since all the other jobs required workers to have MORE THAN a high school diploma or GED. She also realized that there were a lot of people competing for those 15 jobs so she saw her life BEING STUCK. That did not appeal to her.

The GED became a stepping stone for her and not just a destination. The GED is a good goal, but should never be your end point. Please follow her example.

Fortunately, after a number of years of hard work, lots of sacrificing and sweating, fighting to stay positive, struggling to stay alive, she eventually got her GED, a Bachelors Degree and now a Masters Degree. Indeed, I call her our "GED-to-MED" miracle, realizing that the miracle in this case was that she was gutsy, worked hard and created her own miracle.

She is now a very successful teacher in a high school helping others.

As an afterthought, there is an expression that says, "All things come to those who wait." Many people think that is the end of the story. Actually, that statement does not end with a period, but really it ends with a comma and should read something like this, "All things come to those who wait, only that which was left behind by those who hustled."

Make a plan
What do you want to do with life? I assure you that there is no prince out there who will rush in, swoop you up, and take care of you so that you will live happily ever after like a Disney cartoon. Even the best of marriages take a lot of work, sacrificing, sharing, forgiving, charity, patience, etc. Moreover, in today’s society, you will more than likely have to work to either take care of your family or to help take care of your family with your husband.

We know that even though it costs money to get an education, the more education you have, the more likely it is that you will earn a lot more money in your life. In fact, I read a study today that says that Caucasians and Orientals who earned the least amount of money in the US were pulling themselves off of the bottom more than African Americans. Hmmmm!! I was puzzled "why?" The researchers went onto to say that the main reason why this was happening was that the first two groups were seeking to get more and more education while the other group was not. Truly, education does make a MAJOR difference!!

So, Chasity please make a plan. Work your plan. Revise it as necessary, but keep on planning and doing. If you fail to plan, you can plan on failing. Remember, you were born to succeed!!

So, what are your interests? Have you ever asked a school counselor to help you figure out what your major talents and gifts are? That would be a good thing to consider. You will ENJOY working in areas where you can use your talents and strengths a lot more than working in areas that drive you nuts.

If you don’t have a GED or high school diploma, that’s the first thing you need to get. That has to be part of your PLAN. Set dates that you want get things done by and then dig in.

Where do you go to get training for your GED? There are a number of options. KET has GED preparation on television. In our state, we also have that information in public libraries. And we have adult education programs available at all high schools for people like you. Additionally, there are GED books in libraries and book stores.

I found that when I was studying hard to pass a subject, studying with a group of friends who were studying the same thing was always helpful. We helped each other to stay motivated, to stay on task, to move quickly and to support one another. We taught and tested each other as well.

Take a career for a test drive
Once you have your GED or HS diploma, what career(s) are you interested in pursuing? I recommend "taking a career for a test drive." I have some friends who are in careers that they don’t like. Before choosing their careers, they NEVER asked someone in the career what it was like. Dah!! They never even hung out with a person in that career so how could they really get to know the career.

Think. If all you smell is a bakery teasing your senses, but you never go into taste the food, you really don't KNOW what the food tastes like. You miss soooooo much. Would you buy a car without taking it for a test drive? Would you buy a dress without trying it on first? So, then why do so many people choose a career because it "sounds like" a fun career - and skip taking it for a test drive? Knowing what careers you don’t want to go into and the ones you would like to go into gives you so much energy as you study in your chosen career.

Chasity, I think this is more than enough for one time and hopefully somewhat helpful. I have no idea if I hit close to your needs. I sincerely wish you well.

You were born to succeed. Make a plan. Dig in. Get as much education as you can. The more education you have the greater the likelihood that you will earn larger sums of money. Earn enough to cover your needs and to share with others.

Finally, remember to always be grateful for what you have. Share. Watch out for others traveling your pathway. Help them and in the process, unspeakable levels of joy will come to you. Simultaneously, your burdens and worries will be easier to carry than if you just focus on you. Chasity, though much of the world will attempt to teach you otherwise, this is the way to achieve the success you naturally yearn to have.

Your new friend,

Murray Meszaros
State Administrator of GED Testing (Utah)